Kananaskis Country Backpacking: Photo Essay


I recently spent three days in Alberta’s Kananaskis Country on my first solo backpacking adventure. It was a pretty amazing experience. I’ll be writing more about the trip, what it was like to hike solo, and on more practical stuff (like what to pack) in the future. For now, you can see what my days were like through some of my favourite pictures… 


Day 1: Upper Lake Day Use Area to Point Backcountry Campground


All packed up and ready to go. I have to admit I was a little nervous heading out but thankful it wasn’t pouring rain like the forecast had predicted.


Within the first 5 minutes on the trail I was treated to views like these.


Loved the colours on the trail…so many shades of green!


The falls at Sarrail Creek


Driftwood tree stumps from old logging days.


Beautiful views as the path wound around Upper Kananaskis Lake.


The first of many wood bridges.


The trail moved up and away from the lake, taking me deep into the forest.


Loose rocks began to replace the dirt path as I got closer to Point Campground.


The rain began to fall just as I was making supper. So I abandoned the picnic table and hid under the branches of this tree to eat instead.


My campsite on night one. The sites at Point campground were so private, you wouldn’t even know there was anyone else around. The views of the mountains and lake didn’t hurt either.


Watching the sunset and fighting off mosquitoes.


Day 2: Point Backcountry Campground to Forks Backcountry Campground


Single-serving packets of instant cappuccino are a backpacker’s dream.


I’m just as messy in the backcountry as I am at home.


The fog was so thick when I first woke up that I couldn’t even see the lake or the mountains that had felt so close the day before. It was just starting to clear as I headed out on the trail.


Following the trail through the site of an old rock slide.


One last view of Upper Kananaskis Lake before heading deeper into the backcountry.


As the forest got thicker, I called out more and more in hopes that the bears would stay in the trees and away from me.


Crossing another bridge…


…and taking in the views.


This is my happy place.


And yet another bridge shot.


Leaving the forest for a few minutes to pass through another rock slide.


Home on night two.


Upper Kananaskis River runs alongside Forks Backcountry Campground.


Sandy patches on the riverbank meant I could spend the rest of day two having a beach day.


Day 3: Forks Backcountry Campground to Upper Lake Day Use Area


After making my way back along the same trail I had taken the day before, I returned to Upper Kananaskis Lake to finish off the loop.


In case anyone is wondering how they maintain backcountry outhouses – those barrels are airlifted via helicopter to the campgrounds and swapped out for the full ones, which are brought back, dumped and aired out in this picturesque spot.


Looking down on Lower Kananasksis Lake from the dam that separates it from Upper Lake.


Cute and innocent? Or spawn of the devil? Read my post about this little guy and decide for yourself…


More driftwood-strewn beaches and mountain views.


Not a bad spot for a rest.


Looking back along the trail to see how far I’d come…


…and ahead, to see how far I had to go.


Pretty flowers along the trail.


The lake got busier as I got closer to the day use area.


The final little stretch of the trail was along this beach. Which was equal parts beautiful and horrific because of my tired legs and sore feet. 


I dropped my pack back at my car after 3 days. Sweaty, dirty, happy.


Follow along on my 3 days through the Alberta backcountry...

2 thoughts on “Kananaskis Country Backpacking: Photo Essay

  1. Wow, spectacular scenery and pictures. It sounds like it’s an easy trail to access and return to from town. Did you manage to weigh your pack before and after your hike?

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